Collaborations between luxury watch brands and film production houses are not uncommon in the world of high-end timepieces. Such collaborations not only give birth to unique and limited-edition timepieces, but they also enhance a watchmaker’s brand image. These partnerships often appeal to collectors who are looking for exclusive and distinctive pieces that dare to go beyond the traditional boundaries of watchmaking. The association between films and watches can be multifaceted, encompassing various aspects, such as product placement, character development, storytelling, and cultural symbolism.
The latest watch-film collaboration in the world of horology brings together IWC Schaffhausen and Warner Bros. Picture’s forthcoming venture, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The partnership has just delivered two new models, inspired by the red (Ref. IW379405) and blue (Ref. IW379406) glowing prop watches that the brand supplied for the production of the highly-anticipated Aquaman sequel.
In India, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will hit the theatres on 22 December; it is the sequel to Aquaman (2018), which was the highest-grossing DC film of all time. Jason Momoa reprises his role of half-Atlantean/half-human king of Atlantis, who can swim at supersonic speeds, and summon and command aquatic life. Thanks to IWC’s experimental division, XPL, which drives developments in areas like advanced materials or g-protection, the watch brand has outfitted villains Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Dr. Stephen Shin, played by Randall Park, with prop watches that glow brightly in red or blue. These prototypes have inspired two striking limited editions of Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital.
The latest IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month timepieces are based on the 2014 Aquatimer; the cases of both editions are full-black, thanks to the use of the brand’s Ceratanium® material, a proprietary alloy combining the lightness and mechanical resistance of titanium with the properties of ceramic. As with all modern Aquatimer watches, both are equipped with the SafeDive System bezels (with a mechanical connection between the external and internal bezels). The crown is screwed and the water resistance is recorded at 100 metres.
What’s more, these Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month models have black dials and hands, with multiple red or blue luminous accents on the hands and the inner rotating bezels, indicating the dive time. A honeycomb pattern at 9 o’clock and that at 3 o’clock over the calendar display allow a peek inside the complex movement, which combines a chronograph with a perpetual calendar.
The main advantage of this display, besides its modern visual appeal, is its legibility. There’s no overlap in the indications, as the chronograph relies on a central seconds hand and a single totaliser at 12 o’clock for both hours and minutes. The perpetual calendar is also highly intuitive, with two rotating discs in a digital format, both with double-digit displays. At 9 o’clock, there is a date window and at 3 o’clock lies the month number. The leap year and small seconds are found at 6 o’clock.
Powering the complex Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month models is the in-house Calibre 89802, an automatic integrated column-wheel chronograph with flyback function. The winding is executed through a double pawl winding system. A staggering 68-hour power reserve is delivered. Both novelties feature cases, caseback rings, crowns, and pushers made of IWC’s patented Ceratanium®. Specifically for these models, the rotor has been blackened, thanks to a nickel-plating process. Both models are limited to 25 pieces each and are finished on vented rubber straps, sporting Ceratanium pin buckles and a quick-exchange system.